This is like a sticky toffee pudding but served as a cake. It’s best served warm, with some crème fraiche or cream as a decedent dessert. It does take a bit of preparation and an hour in the oven but the results will be well worth the wait, trust us. If you fancy making this ahead of time then you can wrap the undecorated cake in baking parchment, then foil and keep in the freezer for up to 3 months. Make sure to defrost thoroughly, before gently warming through and topping with that delicious rich sauce.
- 250g pitted medjool dates, chopped
- ½ level tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 300g self-raising flour
- 4 tbsp cocoa
- 250g light muscovado sugar
- Pinch of salt
- 175g unsalted butter, softened
- 4 large eggs
- 6 tbsp milk
- 60g unsalted butter
- 175g light muscovado sugar
- 300ml carton whipping cream
- Few drops vanilla extract
- You will also need:
- 23cm round spring-clip tin, buttered and base-lined with baking parchment
To make the cake: Place the chopped dates in a bowl and stir in the bicarbonate of soda. Pour 300ml (½pt) boiling water over the dates, then leave for at least 30 minutes.
Set the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas Mark 4.
Tip the flour, cocoa, sugar and salt into a bowl. Add the butter, eggs and milk and beat until the mixture is smooth. Fold in the softened dates and any liquid that hasn?t absorbed. Pour the mixture into the cake tin and level the surface. Bake in the centre of the oven for 45 minutes-1 hour, until it feels firm to the touch in the centre. Remove from the oven and leave it to cool in the tin for 5-10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack.
To make the toffee-sauce topping: Melt the butter in a pan, stir in the sugar and then the cream and vanilla. Continue stirring over a low heat until the sugar dissolves. Increase the heat and simmer the sauce until it reaches the desired consistency, bearing in mind that it will thicken further as it cools. Remove pan from the heat and leave sauce to cool until it?s tepid, stirring occasionally. If it?s too runny, it may be re-boiled for a little longer.
This cake is best served warm. Once cold, individual slices may be warmed briefly in a microwave oven.